Zaha Hadid, Visionary Architect, Dies at 65

Zaha Hadid, the renowned Iraqi-British architect who was the first woman to win the Prizker Prize, died on Thursday. A statement released by her firm said, “It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid DBE died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning. She had contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital. Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today.”

SCI-Arc Director Hernan Diaz Alonso said of the late architect, “Zaha was as generous as she was extraordinary. She never apologized for being great and steadfastly lived and worked on her own terms. Her impact on the field is so profound that there is a before Zaha and an after. She was everything that we can aspire to be as an architect.” 

Pleated Shell Structures by Zaha Hadid Architects. SCI-Arc Gallery, 2012.

A gifted educator, Hadid had an enduring relationship to SCI-Arc. Her 2012 SCI-Arc Gallery exhibition, Pleated Shell Structures, explored the firm’s on-going research on architectural articulation of self-supporting, curved surface geometries. She lectured at SCI-Arc in 1993 and 1985. In her 1985 lecture, Hadid discussed in detail her competition project for the Peak Leisure Club in Hong Kong which first brought her international attention. Watch her 1985 SCI-Arc lecture on the SCI-Arc Media Archive.

A visionary architect and global figure, Hadid’s absence is profoundly felt by the entire SCI-Arc community.